Being not dumb (My Life As Marilyn Part 2)

So remember yesterday when i was telling you that Marilyn Monroe and I are pretty much the same person, minus the She’s the epitome of womanhood plus she’s rich famous and dead and I’m a short round middle aged mom who nobody knows and also I’m ass broke and very much alive part?

Well, I was planning to talk all about it with my therapist yesterday, so I could spare you the analysis, but as it turned out, she wanted to discuss my relationships with real live people who I’ve actually met, because she’s weird that way.

And well, you know me, it’s her hour and I hate to waster her time and all…

There were two things on my mind though. Two Marilyn related things:

Thing One: Playing dumb

I’ve watched quite a few movies and read a few books about Miss Monroe but it wasn’t until seeing Love Marilyn, that I realized how smart she was. I’m embarrassed to admit that, while I knew she wasn’t entirely the bimbo she let on to be, I had no idea who deep a person she really was.

To be fair, how would I have know what went on in her head before hearing her actual diary entries but still…

I feel guilty for being influenced by the image that the industry created for her. Even more so after learning how hard she fought to be taken seriously, and how sensitive a subject it was for her.

I’ve heard a few times now, comments about Marilyn feeling, while I forget her exact wording, that it eventually became easier to play dumb than to expend the energy or emotional investment in trying to make people listen to or care about her point of view or perspective on things.

And I actually get that.

Not only because people don’t take me seriously most of the time (which they don’t) or because many people disagree with me (which they do) or don’t want to hear what I have to say (because they are cowards who would rather keep living their comfortable lives then to have to open their minds and get off their asses and make some sacrifices to make this world a better place to be) but also because a lot of people just don’t care what I think (can you imagine??) and I just don’t have the will or the energy to force them to.

I mean, I don’t play dumb exactly, but I am self-deprecating beyond what I believe, for the sake of other people’s amusement.

And I’ve learned we (myself included) are all ego driven and not very interested in anything that isn’t about us.

That when I talk, people don’t really want to hear it. Unless I’m talking about them. Or something that they can translate in their minds into being about them.

Like right now, anyone who is actually reading this is probably more interested in how what I feel relates to them, or how they relate to what I’m writing about, than they are about me as a person.

None of you were sitting around thinking this morning, “I wonder what’s on Jen’s mind today…”

Which is totally normal.

I mean, honestly, HONESTLY, I didn’t wonder what any of you were thinking today either. And if I did, I was probably wondering what you thought of a picture I posted on facebook or what I wrote on my blog yesterday or whether or not you enjoyed the act I did at the last show I was in or why you haven’t written back to the last email I sent you…

And most people in conversations, who are listening to somebody else talk about their own thoughts and feelings, are just being polite, waiting for that person to be done, so we can have our turn to talk about ourselves.

And even if we’re genuinely interested in what that other person is saying, it’s probably because we want to apply it to something we are going through or feeling.

Unless we’ve just recently started sleeping with that person and are completely gaga over them; In which case we are listening intently trying to soak up every word in order to use it as evidence of our deep routed connection to them and of course to fuel our campaign to idealize and further worship that person. But that doesn’t count because sex is an evil hypnotic drug that turns people’s brains into oatmeal.

Mine included.

Thing Two: Being not dumb

The thing is, back to Marilyn having a brain, that she was trying to to maximize her intellect. She took tons of classes, read tons of books, including books about how to be smarter and learn more efficiently. She took and studied notes about the books she was reading. She wrote notes to herself about what to study in order to broaden her mind and exercise her brain.

All the while analyzing and over-analyzing herself and her surroundings and circumstances and whatever else, to points that only demonstrate how smart she already was. The kind of smart that makes it impossible to be happy because you question everything and know too much.

I’m not saying she was a genius. I’m just saying she wasn’t dumb. Not one bit.

And I can relate.

Not only because I feel dumb, (which I often do). And not only because I write myself notes about things to learn in order to get smarter (which I often do). And not only because I find it easier most times to make jokes or act dumb and superficial in order to deflect questions about what I actually feel or think (which I very very very often do).

But also because, despite how dumb I feel I am or worry that other people think I am, I know deep deep deeeeeeeep down inside, that I’m not.

I’m not a genius. I’m not even super smart, but I am definitely smart enough to question everything and know too much.

And it makes me wonder if I am ever going to be truly happy.

Now if only I could get smart enough to learn how to not mind not being dumb so that I could find some peace and happiness, despite everything I know.

And if I could find a book or a movie about a smart person who questions everything and knows too much who figures out how to be all embracing and lives happily ever after, that would help too.

Does anybody know of a book or a movie like that?

And what about you people?

You’re obviously all smart people.

Are you happy?

Are you happy even though you’re smart, question everything and know too much? And if you are, how do you do it?

To anyone who is still reading, and wondering how the hell any of this really relates to Marilyn Monroe any more than it does to any one else.

I guess it doesn’t. Well it does, but not any more than it does to any one else, Or any of you for that matter.

It’s just that your diary entries weren’t broadcast on a movie screen for me to dissect and crawl into and ingest this week, and her’s were.

And also because, Marilyn Monroe was this weird mix of all the beautiful things I wished, my whole life (like so many other little girls and boys) that I would grow up to be, and a bunch of the sad and terrible things I actually am but wish I wasn’t.





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